Senior Bowl Q&A: QB Tony Pike

University of Cincinnati QB Tony Pike had a terrific practice on Thursday while preparing for this weekend's Senior Bowl. Find out how his week has progressed, what he hopes coaches are noticing about his performance, and much more in this exclusive interview with's Ed Thompson.

Ed Thompson: Tony, you definitely had a standout performance during your Thursday morning practice session. It looks like the timing is coming together for you and these wide receivers.

Tony  Pike: Right. You know, the first couple of days you're learning a new offense and you're trying to adjust to all of these new players around you. You know the distance that they're going to be on their routes, but you don't know how they're going to get there and how they're going to come out. I feel like today it came together and that the guys have a better understanding of the offense. That made it a good day out here today.

Thompson: You connected on a big pass that you dropped into the corner of the endzone to your Cincinnati teammate, Mardy Gilyard. That had to be a lot of fun and maybe brought back some good memories.

Pike: Yeah, it was a similar route to one that we ran so many times during the season in the red zone with Mardy. So it's almost second nature because you know where he'll be, so you just throw it out there and let him make a play.

Thompson: What is it that you hope the scouts and coaches notice about you as this week progresses?

Pike: Just the transition that I've made from being in a shotgun, no-huddle offense to handling this pro-style offense. I think I've been handling that transition well. Hopefully I'll just go out and have fun in this game. It's fun to be here--obviously you're here playing with the best college players in the country, so I want to go out and enjoy it and take everything in.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Thompson: If you could sit down to lunch with any NFL quarterback of your choosing for lunch, who would it be--and what would you want to learn from him?

Pike: I've had a chance to sit down with Ben Roethlisberger, so that was really good. Other than that, I'd probably want to sit down with Peyton Manning because you watch him as a quarterback--and whether you're a Colts fan or not, your a fan of Peyton Manning because you never see him rattled in the game.  During the week he gets everything done so that he knows where the defense is going to be, and never surprises himself.  To be a quarterback and to go into a game like that is a great feeling, and it's a tribute to his success.

Thompson: What have you learned from your conversations with Ben?

Pike: Just about this whole process, taking it all in. Don't come out here and try to be someone you're not, don't try to come out here and force throws. Just do what you've been doing all year and things should go well.

Thompson: Who are some of the defensive backs that you've been practicing against this week from your own squad that you've learned that you need to be a little more cautious about before releasing the ball in their direction?

Pike: You notice all of them because of their resumes, but Kyle Wilson from Boise State is a tremendous player. He's been matched up against Mardy a lot, so it's been an exciting matchup. You usually go into bowl season to get one of those kinds of matchups, and you're getting them here at the Senior Bowl, so it's exciting.

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You can follow Ed Thompson on Twitter. A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the network and at

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